World Sepsis Day, on September 13, is a collaborative project organized by the Global Sepsis Alliance and relevant non-governmental stakeholders with the aim of raising awareness on one of the most common yet least-recognized illnesses. Sepsis is the main cause of death from infection and kills more people than cancer in the developed world.
Sepsis, also known as blood poisoning or septicemia, is a potentially life-threatening condition that is triggered by an infection or injury. The body’s immune system works extra hard to fight an infection which can reduce blood supply to vital organs (such as the brain, heart, kidneys). Sepsis without treatment can lead to multiple organ failure and death.
Sepsis is frequently acquired in hospitals. In the European Union, the annual number of hospital acquired infections (HAIs) can be number at 4.5 million, with approximately 37,000 deaths that are directly attributable to HAIs. The risk of acquiring HAI is especially high in intensive care units (ICU), where the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that around 30% of patients are affected by one or more episodes of HAI. That means that preventing infection is one of the best ways to prevent sepsis.
One way a person can acquire sepsis is through catheters, which is the most common cause of health care-associated infection to the blood stream. Catheter-related blood stream infections (CRBSI) can be acquired via central venous catheters (CVCs) and are among the leading HAI, together with urinary tract infections, surgical site infections, and ventilator-associated pneumonia.
It is important to point out that 70% of catheter-related blood stream infections are preventable. Guidelines to prevent sepsis acquired via central venous catheters contain a variety of recommendations, including but not limited to educating staff, hand hygiene and aseptic techniques as well as the selection of infection-preventing catheters. One such catheter is the Bactiguard Infection Prevention Central Venous Catheter (BIP CVC). BIP CVCs have an extremely thin noble metal alloy coating, firmly attached to its surface which prevents bacterial adhesion and have been shown to reduce catheter-related infections in high-risk patients.
The World Sepsis Day, September 13
The Worldwide Sepsis Congress, between September 8 – 9 can be accessed for free here: http://www.worldsepsiscongress.org/